- 2 large (6 by 9 by 2-inch) blocks Himalayan pink salt
- Bunch of fresh dill sprigs
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
- ¬Ĺ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ¬Ĺ teaspoon dry yellow mustard
- ¬ľ cup brown sugar
- 1 pound salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed
- Melba toast or crackers, for serving
The name comes¬†from any number of Nordic fish dishes inspired¬†by the openly morbid technique of burying in¬†the ground (grave) your salmon (lax) with some¬†salt cure. I like this dish because it yields a¬†particularly moist, delicate, and lightly salted¬†gravlax, since the salinity of the salt block does¬†not migrate as readily into the fish flesh as a¬†packed cure of loose salt.
- Cover one salt block with half of the dill sprigs.
- In a small bowl, combine the pepper, coriander,¬†mustard, and sugar. Coat the fleshy parts of the salmon¬†with the sugar mixture. Place on the dill-covered salt¬†block. Cover the salmon with the remaining dill sprigs.
- Place the second salt block on top. You now have a salt¬†block and salmon sandwich. Wrap the whole thing in¬†plastic wrap and refrigerate until the fish feels resilient,¬†but not firm, to the touch.
- The top surface should be dry¬†and the sides moist, and it will have lost its raw look,¬†with the flesh having turned slightly opaque. Also, it will¬†feel heavy for its size. This will take one day if you are¬†using a thin fillet of wild salmon and up to three days if¬†you are using a thick fillet of farmed salmon.
- When the gravlax is ready, unwrap it completely,¬†remove it from between the salt blocks, rinse off the¬†seasoning, and pat dry.
- To serve, put the salmon, skin¬†side down, on a cutting board and, starting at the wider¬†end, slice thinly on a slant. Serve on melba toast or¬†crackers. A dollop of cr√®me fra√ģche or a squeeze of¬†Meyer lemon is a nice addition.